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Column: Browns should trade Josh McCown before it’s too late

Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

The Cleveland Browns and veteran quarterback Josh McCown are in a very interesting situation as the 2016 season approaches.

At this point McCown literally has no value to the Browns. At age 37, he’s certainly not the future of the franchise. And with Robert Griffin III now firmly in charge of the starting spot, he’s not even a part of the present.

That being said, he could certainly be a very valuable person for another team. With several teams still uncertain about their starting or backup quarterback at this stage of the offseason, there is a large market for McCown. Many would love to have the veteran on their team.

But only at the right price.

As you can imagine from the moment the Browns named Griffin the starting quarterback, the calls began to flow in for McCown. But for some reason Cleveland has been reluctant to trade the veteran quarterback and the first round of negotiations, with the Dallas Cowboys, quickly fell through.

A few weeks after the trade-talks died down, we discovered why the Browns had failed to make a deal despite the clear need to. Apparently they were asking for at least a fourth-round pick in return for the quarterback.

Unless an unforeseen situation happens, no team in the NFL is going to give the Browns a fourth-round pick for McCown.

The bottom line is that he is a 37-year-old journeyman quarterback who has only had brief stints of success in the NFL. Yes, he is coming off a solid statistical season in 2015, but when you look at his past you could make a major argument that every time he experienced success it was always followed by regression. And at his advanced age, that regression should be even worse.

With that in mind, McCown is a very competent backup quarterback and certainly could help a contending team who has a very stable starting quarterback, but shaky backup situation. Someone like the Browns’ AFC North rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, come to mind because McCown could certainly help the Steelers if Ben Roethlisberger was forced to miss games during the season.

But they certainly wouldn’t give up a fourth-round pick for that ‘just in case’ scenario.

Ultimately, the Browns need to make a move on McCown before it’s too late. With each passing day his value on the market goes down and with the final roster cut downs quickly approaching, there may be an influx of backup-level quarterbacks suddenly on the market, which could kill any value McCown has left.

The argument to keep him is that he gives the Browns a backup plan if Griffin goes down with an injury. But honestly there is no benefit to the Cleveland organization with that argument.

Ask yourself, are the Browns a contender with McCown at quarterback?

The answer to that question is a resounding no. Last year in his eight starts, the Browns went 1-7.

How much worse could it get with someone else at quarterback?

The bottom line is that if Robert Griffin gets hurt, the Browns would be much better off with rookie Cody Kessler suffering through a learning experience or even a return of Austin Davis. At least Cleveland would gain some knowledge about those young players in the experience.

So at this point the Browns should take anything they can get for McCown. Because if they wait too long, they’ll end up getting nothing.

Column: Browns should trade Josh McCown before it’s too late

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